Tuesday, February 9, 2010
My experience with walking a labyrinth has been positive. They have all been of the Chartres Cathedral design, circular and large. They've mostly been portable, with the design painted onto canvas and stretched out in a large room. I used to work close to a church that had one painted on their patio which made for a great lunchtime escape.
I had the opportunity to step on one recently at the college student wellness fair in our community. The room that included the labyrinth is a wonderful space, modern design, warm with rich wood, beautiful lighting, and the music fit the walk beautifully.
I started the walk with three other young men. They just wanted to be done and were almost hurrying through the curves of the labyrinth. They did not like meeting each other or their paths coming too close to each other. They were clearly uncomfortable with the process and one actually asked another about a short cut...I said there was a shortcut, he could simply step off the mat. But he kept going without waivering from his path.
There were a few new students who joined the labyrinth as I spent time in the center. Meeting each other, passing each other's path, all parts of walking our journey on the labyrinth. By the time I finished, there were nearly ten others walking the labyrinth - more than I have ever experienced on the labyrinth at one time. A young woman walking backwards. Two others in the center in silence. Others dancing in and out of each other's paths. The energy was amazing. I walked out of the labyrinth energized and tingling from the experience. The students were much younger than I. In fact, I am very aware of the fact that I am old enough to be a mother to a college student. I clearly soaked up their warmth and energy that affected me for a couple of days.
Wrestling with the journey in the beginning, finding some peace in the center, a new awareness of the turns and twists brings me to the end of the journey with an energy and often feeling lighter than I did when I stepped into the labyrinth...